Build Business Relationships and Partnerships to Grow Your Business
I spent the last few days in Nashville attending WordCamp US and was thinking about the great community and relationships that I build and strengthen every time I attend a WordCamp or WordPress meetup. This is something you need to make sure that you do in your business: build relationships and partnerships with other local businesses.
The WordPress community is so supportive and not only am I growing my business, I’m making friends along the way!
Building a network of business partners and alliances can help your business in so many ways. It’s not all about what they can do for you, but also what you can contribute! I find that being a resource for others is a great way to also gain referrals. If you’re being helpful, your business connections will think of you when they have a referral.
But They’re My Competition!
Some business owners refrain from getting too close to other business owners in their same field for fear of giving too much information away and having their clients whisked away from them.
For starters, the pet industry is a $70 Billion industry! There are lots of customers to go around. You should also look at your local community. Maybe don’t decide to try and build a business relationship with your direct competitor a block away, but there are plenty of others you can find to network with and build a business relationship with.
Try to make strategic alliances with other businesses that are complementary to your business. For instance, I don’t create or maintain websites. If a client comes to me looking for a website redesign or hosting, I have built relationships through the WordPress community to refer them to.
If you are a pet sitter and know a local dog groomer, make sure to nurture and grow that relationship. You’ll probably have someone ask for a referral for a dog groomer and vice versa and you can refer them to one another.
When you have a good relationship with other business owners, they will immediately think of you when they need to refer a customer.
Don’t forget to attend different events in the community, whether it’s a local festival or vendor event, you can attend as a vendor or simply walk around and see what other businesses are in the area that compliment yours or even find new clients. Don’t forget to bring some business cards (maybe an e-card!) or even a coupon for them!
A good place to meet others in the pet industry are educational conferences. The Atlanta Pet Fair has over 70 learning sessions and courses. There will be lots of others in the industry to network with at this yearly event.
Strategic Partnerships Can Grow Your Business
Whether you decide to have a network of business alliances that is more formal and written or if you choose to have an informal arrangement where you simply refer business to each other, your business connections and community are crucial to growing your business.
Don’t spend all of your time working in your business, make sure to take time to work ON your business. One way to do that is to build business relationships and partnerships. Let me know in the comments if you have any other places and ways that you utilize to develop business relationships that grow your business.
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